ESTHER: BEAUTIFUL, OBEDIENT, COURAGEOUS
According to the Bible, very few women were accorded a written book in the history of the Jewish nation. Jewish women were seen to be less active but Esther shaped the Jewish future. This responsibility fell to her because Jews have always seen women as more spiritual and open to religious ideas than men, and therefore as closer to God.
The biblical concept of obedience could be defined as humble compliance to God’s commands. The two sisters, Mary, Martha and Lazarus were friends of Jesus Christ. Mary was the one who sat listening to Jesus's feet. The Greek word for obedience involves listening or hearkening.
Esther's original name was Hadassah, which comes from the word 'myrtle', a tree whose leaves only release their fragrance when they are crushed. Her true heroism was revealed when she and her people were in terrible danger. She assumed the name Esther when she became queen.
Esther was so named for being as beautiful as the Morning Star. She, an orphan Jewess in Persia was brought up by her cousin Mordecai, but did not disclose that she was a Jewess. When Cyrus gave permission for the exiles to return to Judah, she stayed with Mordecai. Esther won the beauty contest to replace Queen Vashti who was deposed by her husband, King Ahasuerus because she refused to parade before the king and his drunken friends. For her refusal, she was deposed for her insubordination. That is how a queen lost her crown, and Esther replaced her as queen.
- She had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful:
- And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
- And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Esther was not only beautiful, but obedient as well. Even when she became queen, she still obeyed Mordecai who brought her up. As an adult, Esther still remained obedient.
- Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
RISKING HER LIFE FOR OTHERS
Esther was beautiful in appearance, and her heart was right in the sight of God for she had love for others and that showed when she risked her life for others.
Esther cared more for other people than for her own safety by putting her own life in jeopardy in approaching the king when she was not called for. She could lose her own life by doing so.
- Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house. over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.
- And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight; and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
Esther had shown her courage when she opted to save the Jews from death rather than continue to live the life of a queen in the palace. She did not hesitate for a moment, and was resolute in her decision.
- All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know that whosoever, man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
- 15. Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
- 16. Go, gather all the Jews that are in Shusan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day. I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.
Esther was willing to die for the people if that was the Lord's will. Safety comes only from God and Esther put her trust and life in God's hands.
FASTING AND PRAYER
In the Old Testament, prayer always accompanied fasting in serious occasions. Moses, Elijah, Ezra, and Daniel all fasted when confronted with problems. By calling for a fast, Esther was asking the Jews to pray for God’s help with her dangerous mission.
Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9; Ezra 8:21-23
- And he (Moses) was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
By calling for a fast, Esther was asking the Jews to pray for God’s help with her dangerous mission. In the Old Testament, prayer always accompanied fasting. Esther knew the importance of support from others for she asked that all the Jews in Shushan to fast and pray. She and her maidens would do likewise. In the church, members are asked to pray and petition God for the sick, and those in financial or family problems. When you are experiencing struggles, turn to fellow believers for support by sharing your trials with them. You gain strength from the support that unites you. There is strength in unity.
Faith is an important component of fasting and prayer. If there is no faith in what you pray for, you might as well not pray at all. Faith can move mountains.
- And Jesus answering said unto them, Have faith in God.
- But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a reward of them that diligently seek him.
- Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
WELCOMED THE SUPPORT
Esther was not one who prided herself on her self importance. She welcomed the support of others in time of distress. Any little help she could get she welcomed. Not only was she beautiful, Esther proved to be level-headed and planned well.but relying on the almighty God.
Esther was very smart and we could see it from her actions when she was asked by Mordecai to intercede for the Jews. She was level-headed and did not jump into decision making when confronted with the situation. First, she asked Mordecai to approach all the Jews in Shushan to pray and fast for three days. She laid her trust in the Lord God would listen to their cries for help as God did in the past. She knew that she could not do it alone and needed all the help she could get from the Lord.
Psalms 20:1, 2
- The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
- Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;
- Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.
- My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
She tested the strength of the king's love for her by inviting the king and Haman to two banquets. At the end of the first banquet, the king declared his love for Esther and would grant her half of the kingdom. She was unsure of how to approach the king at the beginning, but when he declared his love for her, she was more confident in pleading her case.
NO REFERENCE TO GOD
The Book of Esther makes no reference to God, but the action of Esther proved that she believed in God for she and her maids fasted for three days and nights before she petitioned the king. She believed in fasting and the concerted prayers to God would help their cause. God made it possible to turn the table on Haman and he was killed together with his family. Faith is an important factor in the prayers of Esther, Mordecai and the Jews at Shushan.
- Go, gather together all the Jews that are in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat or drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise: and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Esther pleaded with the king after the second banquet she gave. Mordecai was saved from death, and Haman was punished.
Purim was celebrated in honour of Esther when she persuaded King Ahasuerus to negate the edict to kill all the Jews from death in the kingdom of Persia. Purim is still celebrated by the Jews today after thousands of years annually. It is part of Judaism's annual celebration.
Purim (Hebrew: Pûrîm "lots", from the word pur,  related to Akkadian pūru) is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther).
Esther (1999) - You Tube
A Test of Faith: 4 Members with 4 Cancers http://einron.hubpages.com/hub/testoffaith4memberswith4cancers
THE GREAT POWER OF PRAYER http://einron.hubpages.com/hub/THE-GREAT-POWER-OF-PRAYER
THE EPISTLE OF JAMES: FAITH THAT WORKS http://einron.hubpages.com/hub/THE-EPISTLE-OF-JAMES-FAITH-THAT-WORKS
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